Virtual Reality In Psychology

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Virtual Reality Applications in field of Cognitive Assessment, Training and Rehabilitation

Author: Gurkiran Kaur1, Shweta Dua2,
1,2 Department of Instrumentation, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Abstract: Virtual reality systems have emerged as a novel therapeutic tool in the areas of physical and cognitive rehabilitation. Virtual reality (VR) is broadly defined as an advanced computer interface that allows the user to have interactive simulations and hence become immersed within simulated environments. Virtual Reality systems allow precise and strategic control of complicated stimulus presentations to develop assessment and training environments. Encouraging results have been reported
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These side effects need to be considered and evaluated so that Virtual Reality can be used as a safe and risk free therapy tool. Two general categories of Virtual Environment immersion related side effects have been reported, namely, cybersickness and aftereffects. Cybersickness is a form of motion sickness with symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, eyestrain, disorientation, ataxia, and vertigo [42]. Cybersickness is believed to be related to sensory-cue incongruity. This is thought to occur when there is a conflict between perceptions in different sense modalities (auditory, visual, vestibular, proprioceptive) or when sensory cue information in the Virtual Environment is incongruent with what is felt by the body or with what is expected based on the user’s history of real-world sensorimotor experience. Aftereffects may include such symptoms as disturbed locomotion, changes in postural control, perceptual-motor disturbances, past pointing, flashbacks, drowsiness, fatigue, and generally lowered arousal [43]. The reported occurrence of side effects in virtual environments in unimpaired populations varies across studies, depending upon such factors as the type of VE program used, technical drivers (i.e., vection, response lag, field of view, etc.), the length of exposure time, the person’s prior experience using VEs, active versus passive movement, gender, and the method of measurement used to assess occurrence. Particular concern may be necessary for neurologically impaired populations, some of whom display residual equilibrium, balance, perception, and orientation difficulties. It has also been suggested that subjects with unstable binocular vision (which sometimes can occur following strokes, TBI, and other CNS conditions) may be more susceptible to postexposure visual aftereffects. These issues should be investigated further in order

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